Can I Fly with an Expired License? Read This Before Flying!

By Alice Ross | PASSPORT & VISA

Jun 11
Can I Fly with an Expired License?

So, say you are packing your stuff preparing for your flight the next day, when you realize that your license is no longer valid. What are you going to do?! The first question that will probably cross your mind in this situation is, Can I fly with an expired license? Read this article carefully to find out the answer…


Flying using your expired driver’s license

Flying using expired driver's license

So, can you really fly even if your license has already expired? The answer is YES. You are allowed to fly using your expired license as long as you can still provide TSA with proof of your identity.

There might even be cases in which TSA agents will fail to notice that you have an expired license and will let you pass through security without asking for further documents. However, it is always a good idea to have a back-up form of identification in case you get asked.

Before flying, renew your license online

Even if an expired license can be an acceptable ID at airports, as soon as you notice that your license is expired, it’s best to immediately check if you can renew it online. If you have an upcoming flight and may not find yourself having enough time to go to the DMV office, you can still print out a temporary license or some other document that will prove your renewal.

When you go to the airport with the temporary license you printed out online, make sure to also bring your expired license as a supporting document.

Types of identification you can use to go through airport security

Types of identification

Your license isn’t the only type of identification you are allowed to use to get through airport security. In fact, this makes sense as there are people who don’t even have a driver’s license. According to the TSA website, here are the forms of identification you can provide when flying:

- Border crossing card
- DHS trusted traveler cards
- DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
- Driver’s licenses
- Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
- Foreign government-issued passport
- HSPD-12 PIV card
- Permanent resident card
- Transportation worker identification credential
- US Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card
- US Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
- US Merchant Mariner Credential
- US passport
- US passport card

Even if you are planning to fly domestically, it's a smart move to always bring your passport (learn how to renew passport if yours has expired) with you when you're flying, just in case you need more than your license to get through. In addition, make sure you have any of the IDs mentioned above in the event that you forget your driver’s license at home or that you lose it.

Proving your identity at airport security

identity at airport security

If you happen not to have any of IDs mentioned above and your license has expired, then you might want to bring as many documents as you can that contain your name. What you need to do is prove to the TSA agent that you are telling the truth about your identity, in order to for you to be allowed to fly using an expired driver’s license. Here are the supporting documents you can bring with you:

- Bills (electricity/water/etc.)
- Birth certificate
- Business Cards
- Debit/Credit Cards
- Marriage certificate
- Proof of insurance
- School ID

You have to remember that, even if the proofs mentioned above are supposed to be sufficient, it's still up to the TSA agent who is checking your identity whether or not they will allow you to fly.

In case your driver’s license is expired and you happen not to have other forms of ID to present, then make sure to get to the airport as early as possible in case you are asked to go through an additional screening. According to the TSA website, it is recommended for you to be at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight.

Possible issues you might encounter with an expired driver’s license

Expired Driver’s License

While you might be allowed to fly using your expired license, you will not be allowed to drive or rent a car using your license. Most, if not all, car rental companies are going to require you to have an updated driver’s license. In this situation, your best bet is to use Uber or Lyft.

Another place where you might be required to present identification is in hotels. And even though they might not even pay attention to the expiration date of your driver’s license, you might still want to bring another form of ID just in case. If you've managed to get through airport security, you can use the same form of ID to the hotel to prove your identity.

When you notice that your driver’s license has expired a few days before a scheduled trip, it's normal for it to cause a little bit of a panic attack. But no need to fret. If you can still print out some extra documents, then always consider renewing it even though you might only have time to do it online.

We hope that this article answered your question, Can I fly with an expired license? If you have other questions on this topic, let us know and we will try to answer them! On the other hand, if you have any suggestions that might be helpful to other readers, don’t hesitate to share them in the comments below!

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Alice Ross, a long-term traveler who left the corporate world to travel the world. I chose to live life on my own phase and live day by day while immersing myself in new experiences, new knowledge, and new people in a different walk of life I met along the way.

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